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  • Writer's pictureDealerPILOT HR

Retention by Generation

Do you ever feel like you just figured out what your team needs and warns and now it isn't working anymore?

Does it seem like there is a real disconnect between your view of the workplace and the applicants or members of your team?

Retaining top talent no longer has room for a one size fits all approach. With the departure of the majority of boomers from the workplace, the "standardized" view of what people expect from a workplace culture is significantly different than it used to be.

The biggest difference is that there are now three distinct generational groups in the workplace who all have three very different and distinct experiences and expectations.

Knowing that Gen-X, Millennials and now Gen-Z employees are all looking for very different experiences can help drive your culture to a place where you and your team are all in it for the long haul.

Gen-Xers started life without the daily use of technology, mobile technology was not part of their youth and 9/11 forms a significant part of their life experience. Many of these folks are now a part of your leadership team, your long term and loyal employees AND are starting to think about retirement.

Millennials are adaptable, creative and crave engagement. This generation of employees are moving into leadership roles and need to know that they have purpose and fulfillment. They do not see the traditional career ladder as a viable path and expect that life will unfold at a far more rapid pace than their predecessors. Although this may be viewed as impatient, the truth is that they are looking for ways to prove themselves and have their knowledge recognized and valued. More than any other generation, Millennials have a need to know their contributions are appreciated- this is the generation that needs you to show that you value them- this can be as simple as remembering to say Than you with sincerity and give feedback. Don't forge the tangible recognition either, at some point "lip service" isn't enough.

One of the key factors to work satisfaction for this group is having strong workplace technology. How important is this? Approx. 82% have said that they are influenced by a company's workplace tech when deciding to take or remain at a job,with 45% saying they would quit. For boomers it was a mere 25%. Remember, Millennials have grown up with technology, smartphones, tablets, cloud-software and more. Businesses need to have the same level of tech savvy.

Did you know that over 60% of millennial are open to a new opportunity right this moment? Combine that with the over 80% of employees who report being disengaged and the need for a real change in workplace dynamics is clear.

And now, the Gen-Z contingent are moving in to the workforce too. Starting in about 2015, this generation has been moving in and making changes. This group are technology native- meaning they don't know a world without it. Their primary drivers are actually financial and advancement focused. This generation has returned to the idea of financial security. Some predictions indicate that in the first 15 years of their career, Gen-Zers will change roles as many as ten times. Combine this with a need for a true team environment and this is a new dynamic from the millennial who are not as motivated by money.

How do you retain and engage all these generations? Embracing technology is a key for all these groups, even if it is for different reasons. Also ensuring that there is a healthy combination of financial and intrinsic rewards- whether that is promotional opportunities or retirement transition- will bring your culture to a place where employees feel that they have a long term future with your dealership.

Additionally, the need for clear, 2-way communication is critical. Gen-Z wants face-to-face interactions, much like the boomers before them, as the technology is routine fro them. The Millennials want more feedback to ensure that they are prepared to take on Managerial roles and gain the confidence to lead and the Gen-Xers need to know where they fit and how this relates to them in the face of greater change in the workplace.

Lastly, the tolerance for high-stress company first workplace mentalities is waning. Nearly 40% of both Gen-Z and Millennials are concerned about future burn out and making sure that this is manageable is also a way to reduce your dealership costs by increasing productivity and minimizing related costs.

If you want to know more about our technology solutions or how we can help you manage the generational differences in your workplace, contact us at

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